METAIRIE, La. — Thomas Morstead won’t openly politic for a spot on this year’s Pro Bowl roster.
But rest assured if the Saints’ punter were to be left off, he would be devastated.
And he would deserve to be.
New Orleans’ long-haired special teams ace is two games from setting an NFL record for gross punting average. And it’s not an absurd assumption to think that it’ll happen.
As of Dec. 12, Morstead was the leading NFC at punter with 88,037 votes. Tonight is the last night for fans to vote.
Through 14 games, Morstead is averaging an eye-popping 44.7 net yards per punt, nearly a full yard more than Andy Lee’s record, set a season ago in San Francisco.
When asked about the chance to set the record, Morstead’s face lit up. Then the consummate teammate did what he always does – gave the honor to those around him.
“What’s neat about it is that it’s a team record,” Morstead said. “It’s not how far I punted it’s how far I punted minus how many return yards our team allowed. It’s our punt team record. It’s pretty cool.”
Though more difficult, Morstead also is in the vicinity of the gross punting record. He average 50.3 yards per punt, 1.1 yards behind Sammy Baugh’s single-season record.
Morstead understands to be linked to Lee and Baugh is special.
“The NFL is the greatest league in the world and has the best athletes in the world,” he said. “A lot of great names have come through and it would be a pretty special honor.”
With Monday night’s game still to be played, Morstead was leading the NFL in net average by 1.5 yards over Lee. His 50.3 gross average was 0.3 yards behind the top punter in that category.